Improving credit score for a mortgage application

What is a credit score?

First off to improve your credit score you need to know what it is. A credit score, also known as a credit rating, is a number typically ranked between 300 – 850. This score is based on your credit history. This includes the number of current open bank accounts you have open, total amounts of debt (including overdrafts), store cards, repayment history together with other financial agreements. This three-digit number will determine if lenders are willing to give you credit in the future. If you are unsure or do not know your credit score is, here are three main Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) in the UK: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion who will determine your rating.

What is an average score? What do lenders look for?

The three aforementioned Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) in the UK have five ratings: excellent, good, fair, poor, and very poor. The average credit score in the UK is 383 with Equifax and 759 with Experian. Although they use different scales. You will find you will still fall into the same rate in each agency. Whilst you do not specifically need to hold the top credit rate for a loan or a mortgage, you will need to meet the lender’s requirements to obtain a mortgage. Individuals with higher rating scores will receive more offers with special interest rates set by the lender.

How can I improve my rating?

As mentioned before credit scores start at 300 up to 850. The higher your credit rating lenders are more likely to lend you money. If you have a poor to fair credit score, lenders may see you ask a risk, making it unlikely for them to offer you any credit.

If your credit score needs improving, knowing the score is the first step to improving it:

  • Prove where you live – register on the electoral roll
  • Make any repayments on credit on time – always
  • Get advice from your bank regarding consolidating loans
  • Keep credit usage low – credit cards
  • Avoid applying for credit frequently

Be mindful that it can take up to three months for these debts to be taken off and your credit score improves.

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